Imberhorne School awarded grant towards youth football goalposts
Imberhorne School has been awarded funding towards 9v9 Junior goals, as part of The FA’s ongoing youth football initiative.
The grant means that children of Imberhorne Lower School, and clubs in the local community, will now be able to play matches on pitches with goalposts that suit their size and age.
With a pair of goalposts costing on average £1,000, the Football Foundation has ring-fenced a funding pot of £750,000 to help pay for 50% of the cost of purchasing the youth goals. This funding has been made available through The FA providing £650,000 and the English Schools’ Football Association (ESFA) themselves providing a further £100,000. This investment will support schools and leagues adopting nine-a-side and smaller formats of the game – underlining a key part of The FA’s new approach to youth football.
Extensive research has shown that the game is more enjoyable for youngsters on size appropriate pitches with size appropriate equipment – as they receive more touches of the ball and the game is less likely to be dominated by larger, more physical players.
The ESFA 9v9 goalpost requirement was introduced as part of The FA’s Youth Football initiative to encourage schools and local communities to nurture young English footballers with high levels of technical skill. This year, the smaller formats of the game – which make use of appropriate size pitches and goals – were made mandatory for all age groups l Under-12 this season.
In 2012 the Foundation worked with the County FAs to direct £1.5m of FA investment towards the purchase of small-sided goalposts, with over 2,000 clubs and schools benefitting from Foundation grants across all regions of England.
Gareth Southgate, the England Under-21s Head Coach, welcomed the funding, saying: “Having helped to develop the small-sided game strategy at The FA before my current role with the Under-21s, I can only echo how crucial this is for young players.
“Youngsters will get so much more out of the game, with more touches on the ball and a far better quality of match being played. This format of the game will also have a significant impact in developing more technically-gifted home-grown players.
“I am delighted to see The FA, the ESFA and the Football Foundation working in partnership to make sure this investment helps schools such as Imberhorne make the transition to the small-sided game.”
Steve Hill, [SSCO] for East Grinstead and Imberhorne, said: “The funding from the Football Foundation is a fantastic initiative as it not only benefits the current and future students of Imberhorne, but it also improves provision for our community football clubs as well.”
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